Eelco Schattorie: Lack of bench strength cost us the match

Kerala Blasters FC showed a lot of grit but eventually succumbed to a disappointing 3-2 loss against FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Saturday. Despite going 2-0 down in the first half, Kerala drew themselves level courtesy goals from frontmen Messi Bouli and Bartholomew Ogbeche after the restart. However, Goa had the final laugh courtesy a late Hugo Boumous winner.

At the post-match press conference, Kerala head coach Eelco Schattorie bemoaned his team’s first half showing and said, “The first half was not that good. We had to be smart and alert. For the second goal, we let them take a free-kick. In the first goal, (Mohamad) Rakip should have used a little more of his body. In the end, it was still okay.”

The second half though, was much better according to the Dutchman, who added, “In the second half, we completed outplayed Goa. There was only one team that played football and it was us.”

However, the Blasters’ head coach felt that the absence of quality on the bench ultimately played a part in his team’s downfall late in the game. He opined, “We came back to 2-2 and then in the end, I go back to the part that I am struggling with all season, which is that I wanted to make some changes which I can’t. I have to put players in position that they are not comfortable playing in. But you have to refresh. For instance, on the right, Seityasen (Singh) was coming from injury. He didn’t train for two weeks and was not fit.”

Concluding on a similar note, Schattorie said, “2-2 was not good enough, I wanted to go for a win. In the end, you need to be a bit more aggressive in your marking. But also, Goa have qualities. They have a little bit more specific qualities to finish. We missed two foreigners. We didn’t even have a foreigner on the bench. We missed that.”

Read the Match Report here.

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